|A structure in the Barrens|
We've avoided Derry for years; too many deaths, too many disappearances, too many innocents lost. But Halloween is upon us, and it was time to tackle the scariest waters of Maine; Derry's Kenduskeag River and the stream that runs through the Barrens.
We were lucky that the road to Derry was open. The previous night, as we listened to WKIT, the evening DJ reported on an experiment gone wrong at Derry's military facility. But this morning, there was a new report assuring us everything was okay and we should just go about our normal lives. The voice giving the report was a little mechanical, and didn’t sound like the normal crew, but WKIT soon launched into “Something in the Air” by Tom Petty followed up by Anthrax and Poison songs before playing the all-clear notice again. It's great to have a locally owned and operated Rock Station, they can play whatever they want.
We awoke early for this trip. Just after sunrise is the best time to visit Derry, the night denizens have gone back into hiding and the daylight specters have yet to awaken. Our goal was to launch at the Kenduskeag, paddle up to the stream, explore the Barrens and get out again quickly.
On the Kenduskeag everything was at peace.
Soon we were out the mouth of the stream, the “canal section,” a mysterious place with buildings built in the middle of bridges.
We paddled along the still water, Mark pausing to peer down the storm drains, hoping to catch on camera a pair of silver eyes.
As we approached a second bridge, this one built of rusty metal and crumbling concrete, the dark waters of the stream were no longer quiet. The stream actively worked to stall our progress, shoving us backwards with all its might. Below the surface unseen objects blocked our paddle strokes.
The morning mist crept out from where it was hiding behind the trees and slipped soundlessly on to the water’s surface, piling up in an ominous tower.
This water is saying we should go no further.”
Reluctantly he agreed, though he was certain that just a short beyond the bridge he would have found photographic evidence of Pennywise.
We reversed course. Mark may have been disappointed but I was jubilant that we had not met any evil shape-shifting clowns, aliens, rabid dogs, "bubbles" which could shift us to 1958, or just everyday folk suddenly overcome with evil. In a short time we were again in clear air, and I celebrated our victory.
Could this fog be related to the report of the military accident? Was it in fact a sentient beast?
Mark and I looked at each other, debating what our best course of action should be. In the end, Mark declared the obvious, we could not linger in Derry, the risks were too great, our way upstream was blocked, we had no choice but to hold our breath and enter the mist. Mark bravely entered first.
A few other photos from Derry:
Paul Bunyan Statue
And finally a few shots from Bangor; of the residence where four impressive authors have lived; creating amazing tales which keep their audiences captivated from beginning to end. And when I think about the effort it takes for me to create these short posts I am even more amazed at the craft of Stephen King, Tabitha King and their sons, Joe Hill and Owen King.
Any resemblance between Bangor and Derry; Kenduskeag and the Penobscot, the Barrens and the Kenduskeag Stream Park will fade as darkness returns.